What is the best macro-ratio for hard training days?


When it comes to macronutrient ratios, there's not one size that fits all. Your macro ratio might fluctuate depending on your metabolism and physical activity at a given moment in time. However, there are general guidelines that can help you depending on your fitness goals. But when you are training hard, should you consume more or less protein, carbs or fats?

Your macro-ratios should be slightly different during your training and rest days. When you train, your muscles primarily use glycogen as an energy source. Glycogen is a multi-branched polysaccharide of glucose (simple sugar) that serves as a form of energy storage in humans, animals, and fungi. This polysaccharide structure represents the main storage form of glucose in the body.

This means that our muscles run first and foremost on glycogen. Just imagine that glycogen is the same exact thing as gas for your car. When your car runs out of gas it’ll stop running. The body is similar, but a little bit different too. For example, when your body runs out of glycogen, it will find an energy source from either your stored fat or the protein that’s found in your muscles.


The Best Macro-Ratio


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If you’re trying to drop body fat, then using your excess body fat storage as an energy source is a great thing! But if you’re trying to train as hard as possible so you can grow your muscles a lot, or you need a lot of consistent energy during your workout, then you want more glycogen in your bloodstream.

That’s why the macro-ratio for training days when you need the extra glycogen will differ from the macro-ratio for your rest days. The following are the recommended ratios for your training and rest days. The 40, 30, and 30 of these formulas are protein, carbs, and fats which are macronutrients.

  • Training day - 40/35/25
  • Rest or low energy-expenditure workout day - 40/30/30

All you need to do, in order to make sure you use the 40/35/25 or 40/30/30 formulas correctly is to portion out every single meal you eat so that you’re getting 40% protein, 35%-30% carbohydrates, and 25%-30% fats. On most days you should go with the lower glycogen macro-ratio of 40/30/30. But on the days when you’re trying to do any of the following things, you should consume the higher glycogen macro-ratio of 40/35/25:

  • Attempting to break a personal record (PR)
  • Trying to beat gym’s WOD record
  • Endurance-based training
  • Any competition you’re competing in
  • Any endurance event




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Keep in mind that no matter what macro-ratio you choose, you must have a healthy and balanced calorie intake. It makes sense to have a calorie deficiency if you are trying to lose weight, but if you are trying to gain muscle mass, you must ensure that you eat sufficient calories.

Remember to have 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight to ensure the best results. Carbs are also important since they are the primary source of fuel for your body. And fats are essential for balanced hormonal functions and proper metabolism functioning.

Make sure that you consume complex carbohydrates for your carbs portion. Veggies and whole grains that are rich in fiber have multiple health benefits and help you feel fuller for longer. You should also have your protein from complete sources such as eggs, lean meats, poultry, dairy, or plant-based proteins. As for your fats intake, make sure you choose the healthiest sources that contain plenty of omega 3-s for your brain and heart health.

Make sure you check with your doctor if you plan to make changes to your macronutrient intake. Certain conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease or other afflictions may affect your diet composition. A dietitian will definitely give you the professional advice you need to adjust your macro-ratio according to your own personal needs.


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